Commercial print

Discussion in 'Early Childhood Education Archives' started by Nanny, Jan 26, 2006.

  1. Nanny

    Nanny Rookie

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    Jan 26, 2006

    I have a question about commercial items being placed in the room. I work at Head Start and I purchase posters with the colors, numbers, Community Helpers, etc. for teaching tools. Yesterday one of the ladies from the Education component said there was too much commercial items in the room. I want my room to look inviting as well as have educational items in the room. My children love the nursery rhyme posters that I have up. They say them all of the time when we are transitioning from one activity to another. What's the problem? Can someone give me an answer? I am confused as to why they are a problem.
     
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  3. Blue

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    Jan 26, 2006

    Oh, this is a doozy. I work for Head Start as well. I skimmed our guidance memos for an answer to this issue, and found no guidance.

    But I have some ideas. In Head Start all activities are to be child initiated and child centered. Putting up a poster for decoration is not what I see happening in Head Start classrooms. For instance, a community helper poster might be okay if community helpers is your theme. But, at Head Start the children would create their own community helper poster.

    Hope that helps. I would talk more with Education and find out some background and obtain more information. After all, it is Educations job to assist you.
     
  4. Nanny

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    Thanks so much for your input. I know you are right about there being children' work up. But you see our classrooms are modular buildings and they are pretty small so all walls in the room are covered with shelves. This makes it difficult to put up any work. We actually put things on the door to the closet and the bathroom. We have no eye level space to put them up. I did not work today due to a family emergency and my assistant said that a parent came into the room and said that we had the most beautiful room. She said it was so inviting. This is about the fourth parent that has told us this. It seems that every time we ask a question about something, we get three or four different answers. For example, one component person tells us to do our lesson plans one way and another tells us to do them another, and yet we get a different view from the third person. We are sometimes at our wits ends. I have another question, we were told that our scissors and paint have to be put up so the children can't reach them. I have been at Head Start for 13 years and we have always put these items where the children had access to them. Is this wrong or not? I don't want to sound like I don't like my job, because I love it. These children are so special to me. I just get frustrated because we seem like we are always being told to do something that takes away from what we are able to teach the children. I could go on and on asking about different things that go on and if other Head Starts have to do the same thing or are there different rules for each one? But, I won't take up so much of anyone's time. Thanks again for the response.
     
  5. AChancetoTeach

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    Jan 26, 2006

    I don't have any experience with Head Start, but could they want the decorations to be more "interactive"? In my methods class, they really stressed, no store bought stuff, they wanted us to make decorations, bulletin boards, etc., that could be utilized by the students and they had to "teach" the child something. We would make bulletin boards that taught a concept and could be played by a student. Your students may be a little young to do this without guidance though. Just a thought...I'm curious also as to what they are thinking when they tell you this.
     
  6. Nanny

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    I really don't know what they are thinking. Some examples of my print is, nursery rhymes, community helpers, colors, my learning center signs, helpers chart, a map of our town, and handwashing procedures. I feel these are all very good teaching tools. My children are 3, 4, and 5 year olds. Most of these children are introduced to these things only at school. The children use these items in discussion with one another. Sometimes during free play, one of the children will pretend to be the teacher and go to the posters and ask the others what it says. They look at the nursery rhyme posters and ask who can repeat a certain one. I love to hear them in positive interaction instead of bickering over toys. My group this year seem to like pretending to be the teacher. I allow time during Circle activities for them to do this. So again I feel the commercial items are a good teaching tool.
     
  7. AChancetoTeach

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    Jan 26, 2006

    I agree that they are as well. I was just curious if they think that you should have some interactive ones also. Like making shapes of the colors and having them attach the colors that match onto the chart with velcro, etc. Something that the child can actually touch and do. Your charts and posters do sound wonderful and like good teaching tools. Goodness, if you've been there 13 years, you must be an awesome teacher!
     
  8. Youngteacher226

    Youngteacher226 Enthusiast

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    Nanny,
    I am a Head Start teacher as well and I can relate to what you are saying. We are told also not to put up too much commercial print. One teacher decorated her room one year with Blue's Clues, Seseme Street, Bugs Bunny and diff. characters like those and she got chewed out!!:eek: Come to find out, she was more fit to teach Elementary Ed, and not Early Childhood! I think the reason why they discourage "store bought" items is because they feel that it looks good to the parents and visitors, and the children may even love to look at them, but they feel that those types of charts do not coincide with the children's cognitive development. In other words, they can relate to things that they have made, opposed to a chart displaying diff. colors or shapes. Don't get me wrong, I have a couple of charts posted also, but I have 2-3. One shows colors with household objects that the children are familiar with. One shows shapes of familiar items also and the last I think shows numbers and objects that relate to that number next to each one (ex. 3 - 3 bears). But I suggest to you just to get them off of your back, if you have limited amount of wall space for displaying, then take down the charts and put up a project that the children did to learn their colors, like sponge paintings of colors or have them make shapes using popsicle sticks and label each shape, you know what i mean? You can always put those charts on the cubbies or you could even store them in the circle time area and pull them out as needed. That is what I do, I have a few more charts and I pull them out when we discuss diff. things. Tell me if this helps you at all, I know what you are going through!!! Alot of people don't realize that Head Start teachers have to follow strict standards just like the school districts. Hang in there. I love Head Start also and at the end of the day, it's all worth it when these Head Start children come back to visit and have nothing but positive memories to reflect on.;) :p :D :p :D
     
  9. Youngteacher226

    Youngteacher226 Enthusiast

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    Jan 26, 2006

    I forgot about the scissors and paint issue........It sounds weird to me that your superiors would tell you that the materials should not be where the children can reach them. What"????????????? As long as I've known, the materials should always be on eye level and where the children can use them independently. Nothing should be up high, or put away unless it is poisoness, like cleaning supplies and things like that. You should question their reasoning in a professional way just to find out from thier perspective, why does this rule apply to their organization. It wont hurt to ask, you know?:confused:
     
  10. Miss W

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    Jan 27, 2006

    I teach 2nd grade and I keep all glue, scissors, and markers in community tubs. I've learned that if those items are in their desks they will play with them.

    As for the commercial print... I use it, but I also use lots of things we make in the classroom. I like commercial print that you can manipulate (laminate and write on... use over again next year). Have any of you heard of Project GLAD? It's a program, well more like strategies, that incorporate making things like charts, pictures, graphic organizers, etc... The kids really remember stuff that they see being created, or help create.

    I also teach in a modular, so there is limited space. Here's my suggestion: hang stuff from the ceiling. Posters, student work, almost anything can be hung. I usually hang them, but I've seen a classroom that the teacher has them posted on the ceiling (kind of like what the dentist does so you can read it while lying down). I've thought about that, but it didn't quite work for my students.
     
  11. Nanny

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    Jan 27, 2006

    Thanks for all of the wonderful suggestions. I only wish we could put things on the ceiling. Fire Marshall rules forbid it. I used to hand lots of the children's art work from there as well as things with their names on them so they could recognize them. We have some very strict rules and it makes for a stressful situation sometimes. I do have several charts in my Circle area. I use them on a regular basis. The suggestion to use velcro to match items is a good idea. I will try that. I have a bulletin board that I put monthly themes on, well I thing I will use a wall in the back of the room to put that on and use the bulletin board for the children's art work, even though it is not eye level. I am also going to replace the Community Helpers poster with the children's names on miniature helpers. Dry erase markers will work wonders to reuse these year after year.
     
  12. Miss W

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    Jan 27, 2006

    Our Fire codes say that everything has to be 12 inches from the ceiling. If your strings are long enough you could do this. Fishing line is perfect, and attach a paperclip to it. It works so well.
     
  13. Blue

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    Nanny, It sounds like you are a good teacher attempting to follow the directions of your supervisors. These supervisors are making it impossible for you to comply by giving you conflicting informantion. I think you have received some wonderful advice. After you make some changes, you might check in with your supervisor to see if that is what she wants.
     
  14. ksmomy

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    Jan 27, 2006

    Hi Nanny,
    I worked for a migrant headstart during the summer and I absolutely loved the children and families. The education consultant and some of the other "administration" however, I could have done without. I had the same experience as you. If five people came in my room I would get 5 different instructions on how to do the same thing. It was very stressful. I went to my education supervisor and she told me she experienced the same thing when she was a teacher there. I would suggest that you ask your education supervisor exactly what she expects and then abide by that. She should know exactly what the education consultant is looking for. They were also very picky about what we had up. Even the art work that the children did on their own could not look too much alike or she would call it "ditto sheets". As far as the scissors and glue, we had to keep that accessible to the children at all times.
     
  15. scarlet_begonia

    scarlet_begonia Comrade

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    Jan 29, 2006

    If the children like the nursery rhyme charts a lot, maybe you could free up wall space by putting some of your charts on a chart stand that you could flip through during circle time and the children could use during free time.
     
  16. dbcteacher

    dbcteacher Rookie

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    Jan 29, 2006

    I also teach for Head Start, only in Oklahoma. I have had many problems with the rules and regulations of Head Start. It often makes me realize why government officials are trying to get rid of Head Start. I firmly believe that Head Start Administration lacks classroom experience and therefore have no idea how to administer to the classroom teachers. The rule to not have much in the way of commercial posters,etc. on the walls is not so the items will be interactive with the children. In fact, at my center interactive bulletin boards are even discouraged. The person who comes to our center to check our classrooms and lesson plans, etc. has never been in the classroom. I'm even doubting that she has a degree in education. Head Start is such a tremendous idea it is a shame it has such poor administration who will eventually bring the demise to this program. In regards to what to do about the charts, hang them on a chart stand and use them that way. It is not as convenient but it works. We also had the lecture recently about the children's artwork looking just alike. Sometimes these projects are beneficial and sometimes not. The teacher needs to review the purpose for the project and go from there. We also don't have enough time in our strict schedule to allow the children to draw, cut and glue an entire project. We have 20 children in our classes and it just can't happen. I just want all you Head Start teachers to know that we all share many of the same frustrations and you have to find a way to work around them. God Bless all teachers.
     
  17. Nanny

    Nanny Rookie

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    Jan 29, 2006

    I want to thank all of you for your suggestions, I agree that some of these people have all of the answers, yet none of the experience. They should only have to work in a classroom for a week to see what we experience.
     
  18. Nanny

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    Mar 12, 2006

    I know this thread has not been responded to in a long time, but I recently found out that our Education Specialist wants us to take our alphabet down that we have and to make our own. What sense does it make? The children don't know the difference. We also don't have the time to make them, when we are doing observations, outcomes, home visits, and lesson plans. Can someone answer me this.
     
  19. dbcteacher

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    I don't know if you are Head Start or not but, none of it makes any sense to me. Commercially made wall decorations are more attractive than teacher made. Also, it does give us more time to devote to the children and the endless paperwork government sponsored programs must comply with. One suggestion, however, can you find a public school or day care or preschool that might have a die cut machine? My church has one and this is what I use for the wall. As we work on a letter I put the new one on the wall. We do our letters weekly and in order so after about 26 weeks we have the complete alphabet on the wall. Our administration doesn't seem to mind this. (At least not this week!) It's a lot easier than hand cutting. We use the Simply Phonics curriculum and some teachers have put those cards on the wall with little repercussion. I wish you luck.
     
  20. ksmomy

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    Your situation sounds very similar to the one I was in last summer. I was in a head start and the (I forget what the title of the education specialist from the corporate office is called), but she wanted everything handmade by the teachers. Like you, I wasn't quite sure exactly when she thought we were supposed to do all of this wonderful arts and crafts work. We had to have a word wall. I just used sheets of white paper and I drew the letter on in one color, then I wrote words according to what we were talking about and drew a picture to go along with it. It made everyone happy.
     
  21. Proud2BATeacher

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    Maybe you could make this a special home project for your students to do with their parent. They get a letter or two a week and they must draw a picture that goes with the letter and also bring something in that begins with the letter. Send a different letter home with each student until you have the whole alphabet. Depending on the number of students you have, it may only take 2 weeks, especially if you make a couple in class as a group so the children will know what to do at home.
     
  22. MorahMe

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    This Head Start bussiness sounds as awful as the UPK stuff we are dealing with in the school I'm subbing in...as soon as you change something for them, they're not satisfied! Last year, when I was working there full time, they came in February, and decided that they didn't like the layout of the furniture in our classroom. While the class was at gym, they moved all the furniture, and we were stuck with just having them read books quietly for the hour after they came back. One teacher, who does all the ordering of supplies and furniture for the school, got so mad at them, that she yelled at one of the "educational specialists" or whatever they claim to be, and said "you know, the director of the company you made us order the furniture from (the school is not happy with the furniture) came down and told me that this was the most efficient way to set up the furniture in this room!" The specialist just answered "well, he's not an Educational Specialist, is he?" GRRR!! This was only one of many extremely annoying, disruptive things they did...they also made us change our methods of dividing into centers, and make new posters for them, relabel everything in the room with a different font...it was disgusting!
     
  23. Youngteacher226

    Youngteacher226 Enthusiast

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    I feel so bad for some of you. Although I have experienced headache at the Head Start I work for. The one thing that was smart that they did was printed out color alphabet cards that were the same for every classroom and gave each teacher a ready made set. They were already laminated and everything so all we had to do was post them on the wall. As the year went on, I did one letter at a time, talking about that letter, finding things in the classroom that begins with that letter, doing Show & Tell etc. And I posted the children's pictures on the Word Wall with their names under the letter that their names begin with. So I can say that they were'nt crazy about us making the letters ourselves. The most important thing was that we utilized the Word Wall everyday and made sure that the children get the most out of it as they can. Who cares how you get the letters or words for your Word Wall, the only concern should be how are you using this in the classroom, right? Some administrators can be so sickening!!:( :(
     
  24. dbcteacher

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    Amen Sister!! I had forgotten about the computer, well hello! We do use the computer for several signs and labels that we post. We do have to use a special font, but that's a nitpicky thing I can deal with. My co-teacher and I make letter/word posters. Our director would have a fit if we used that much wall space for a word wall, so we improvised with the poster board. (Remember everything has to be at eye level so the upper wall is blank!) It is amazing how many of the 3's can tell us a word that begins with a certain letter because of the pictures that go along with the words. Even though the 3's don't understand the beginning sound they can still tell us "c" words, etc. and they feel so smart. Keep posting ideas ladies. They are so interesting and helpful.
     
  25. scarlet_begonia

    scarlet_begonia Comrade

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    My class and I make our abc chart together. I cut one piece of construction paper into four pieces. We draw pictures on each piece and I write the words. Most of the pictures are scribbles, but that's what my administration likes. They also said we could photocopy book images for each letter and make our charts that way. I think it's a great idea but my particular school does not allow us to use the copier, and it just wasn't worth it to run all over town, paying for color copies.
     
  26. Nanny

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    Mar 13, 2006

    Thanks for the great ideas. We are in modular buildings and we have very limited wall space since the furniture is against it. We have to use the doors to display our art work. When I use the backs of shelves, the other classroom usually tears them off. Oh, by the way did I mention we are split session. I share the classroom with another teacher in the afternoons. Yuck. I hate the situation we are in. You know that no two teachers do the same thing and it is almost impossible to display art work for 40 children in one room. I took down my nursery rhymes and put my art work up, well the very next day she had her art work almost on top of mine. Things are very hectic. Tension is getting worse as the year comes to an end. I just pray that it won't be long until we get our new building that we have been promised for the last two years.
     
  27. dbcteacher

    dbcteacher Rookie

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    The one thing we have above the children's eye level is a large bulletin board for art work display. I don't know why we get to have this above eye level but we do so we use it. We have two classrooms in our center. Each classroom has a morning class and an afternoon class. When it comes to artwork, we have one class display one week and the other the next week. Sometimes our art is not display friendly so the other classes work may stay up longer. We all don't agree on everything but we can usually come to a compromise on most things. It sounds like you director needs find out what the other teacher's problem is and find some ways for everyone to get along. The children lose out in the long run.
     
  28. scarlet_begonia

    scarlet_begonia Comrade

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    We, too, are allowed to have a board for children's artwork that is above eye level. We base our curriculum on the Bank Street curriculum, and the only thing we have to do is hang the work plainly, with no borders, frames, or bright-colored backgrounds.
     
  29. dbcteacher

    dbcteacher Rookie

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    Our boards all have to have colorful background paper and border. Even in the centers that don't have the bulletin boards they have to take butcher paper and boarder, attach it to the wall and make it look like there is a bulletin board there. It is so hard to predict what things are ok and what might not go over. If one does not have a go with the flow attitude survival in Head Start is very difficult. I like to see artwork all over the room, but we cannot do that. And things have to be symmetrical or it can't go up. Also because of the alarm system we cannot hang things from the ceiling. We are very limited and must be very creative with displays.
     
  30. scarlet_begonia

    scarlet_begonia Comrade

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    Mar 14, 2006

    it's interesting how each school can be so different.
    dbcteacher, you must have colorful background paper and border. I am not allowed to have any border and background paper must be a drab color (perferably a plain board or nicely painted beige wall.) This is so it does not detract from the student's artwork.
     
  31. dbcteacher

    dbcteacher Rookie

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    Mar 14, 2006

    scarlet begonia---I don't think brightly colored paper and border could ever draw someone's eyes away from children's artwork. It is always so interesting and sometimes so amusing I really don't think it matters what else is on the board. I love watching and talking with children as they create. The student who always says "I can't"
    is the one I want next to me at the art table so I can show him he can. The art table is the most fun to me no matter what we are doing as the project or when it's free art.
     

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